50 shades of blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. It’s everywhere. I have no idea what it is even about, other than the awful things listed in the parental guidance portion of the movie review. But, I believe in turning negatives into positives. So, here is my attempt.
If you are married, you know it is not a black and white experience. The merging of two complex personalities and lives can take a great deal of effort and commitment and endurance. But, if you are willing to invest yourself fully, marriage can fill your life with an exciting and unexpected, but breathtaking array of colors that you wouldn’t have been able to experience any other way. Here are my 50 shades of a ridiculously FANTASTIC marriage to help you do just that!
1. Sleeping next to your best friend every night! (but… listen, only 15 minutes of snuggling and then I’m done because even if just your foot is touching my leg, I can’t sleep. Love you!)
2. And knowing that sweet person lying next to you when you wake up in the morning will still love you even AFTER they smell your morning breath!
3. A good balance of money management “discussions” followed by date night splurges to make up.
4. Knowing your spouse is with you through thick and thin. When the going gets rough, you rough it out together!
5. When your waistline thickens, your spouse sees only more to love!
6. Knowing that regardless of how many friends you have, your best friend is the one you are building eternity with.
7. Being grateful for the little things, like when your spouse takes the time to put their socks IN the hamper and not NEXT to it!
8. Letting eachother be human and giving the gift of truly forgiving and putting even big mistakes behind you when there is an effort to fix the problem and change.
9. Nine definitely has to represent the miracle of pregnancy and the even greater miracle that a marriage can survive and still thrive even when you are both sleep deprived after baby arrives!
10-20. I say ten through twenty because that’s about how many emotions a woman has the capacity to go through in a day. Give your husband a high five for making it through them all! (Seriously! Did you really think I was going to think up 50 SEPARATE shades for you? I’ve got kids to tend to:)
(An oldy but a goody.)
21. A commitment to each other that is strong enough that even though there are many other “fish in the sea” that might be better-looking, smarter, or thinner– neither of you have any desire to go fishing!
22. Knowing that even though you won’t look like you’re 22 forever, your spouse still makes you feel like you are!
23. Having a spouse who snores, and instead of getting separate bedrooms, one of you gets ear plugs…AND a squirt bottle!
24. When as hard as you try, you can’t resist the urge to be a backseat driver, and your spouse doesn’t open the door and kick you to the curb when you do.
25. When a tuna sandwich and a love note in a paper bag mean the difference between a horrible day and a GREAT one!
26. Being able to laugh hysterically when your sweet spouse falls asleep on your shoulder…and leaves a pile of drool!
27. You’re spouse comes home from a hard days work, sees the pile of dishes, no dinner, and grumpy kids, and instead of complaining, jumps right in and asks what they can do to help!
28. On the flip side, when you know your spouse has had a hard day at work, and so you clean the house and make a special dinner for them to come home too!
29. The bank account is empty, the food choices are anything but exciting, the kids are driving you nuts, but life is still great because I got you babe!
30-40. Speaking of kids, we’re gonna count this shade as another 10 pointer because, if you have children, 10 is the number of grey hairs you gain each day, 10 is the number of diapers you change on your baby’s worst day, and 10 is the number of hours you know you will NEVER EVER sleep again! But hey! 10 is also the number you would also give your spouse for their endurance and parenting skills!
41. A fantastic marriage does not mean an easy, smooth riding one. We all know those kind of rides are dull and boringanyway. Who wants to take a sunday drive when they can ride life’s roller coaster with their best friend by their side?!
42. Speaking of ridiculous, you know you love your spouse when they insist on wearing basketball shorts and tube socks up to their knees…and you still love them anyway!
43. Intense fights followed by make-up sessions. Nuff said.
44. Realizing that people are fluid and you and your spouse are changing as you go through new experiences, especially the hard ones. Focusing on helping each other become your best selves and being each others biggest fans when things are good and when things are bad.
45. When your addiction to Diet Coke, Facebook, cars, sports, video games, or even Pinterest is not even close to your addiction to your spouse.
46. Blabbering on about your spouses wonderful qualities to your friends and family, and keeping their weaknesses to yourself, even when everyone else at the table is ragging on their spouse.
47. Taking seriously “in sickness or in health.” Holding your pregnant wife’s hair when she pukes for the tenth time that day, or nursing your husband back to health after surgery. Tenderly caring for the love of your life, who, stricken with Alzheimer’s, no longer knows who you are. That is true love.
48. If your marriage isn’t the fairytale you always imagined, either coming up with a new one or ditching the notion all together. Happily ever after means AFTER the bounced checks, AFTER the hormonal moments, AFTER the babies, AFTER the mid-life crisis, and AFTER the health fails and the beauty fades! But only you can choose if it will be happy…after ALL!
This is a fantastic read on choosing to have a happy marriage.
49. Gratitude. Not taking for granted all the nice and helpful things your spouse does for you every day. Can you remember the last time your spouse thanked you for some little thing you did and how good it made you feel? And how you wanted to keep doing it for them because you felt appreciated? Yeah- gratitude. It goes a loooong way in a marriage. Continually show gratitude in little ways on a daily basis and it you will be ridiculously happy with each other.
50. A wise man once said that true love is being anxiously concerned about the well-being of another. If you are always focused on yourself– your own needs, your own happiness– you will drain the life out of your marriage, and to be frank- you will probably end up single. Selfishness has been the death of so many marriages. But, selflessness is like miracle grow on a marriage. If you have two people who are focused on loving, lifting, and serving each other- well, there you will find a little bit of heaven on earth no matter what life throws at them.